Old Violins have over 25 years of experience making, restoring and repairing old and antique Violins, Violas, Cello’s and Double Bass.
Repair and Restoration
Our expertise is in ensuring that everything we do is sympathetic to the sound quality of the instrument, we are used to dealing with old and antique instruments and our workmanship is to a very high standard.
We have repaired instruments for professional classical orchestral players and for jazz musicians, folk musicians and session players. We understand that for a professional musician timing is crucial – we are based on the South Coast of England very near Brighton, which is about an hour from central London by train so very convenient for musicians who are part of a touring orchestra. If you are on tour and have an urgent repair we can often help – so please do get in touch.
Repairing and re-hairing bows
We restore and re-hair bows to a high standard using only the finest Mongolian horsehair. Double bass bows are usually re-haired with black hair which is more coarse for connecting with the larger strings.
Our expertise in old and antique stringed instrument repair includes:
All repairs to peg-box including broken scrolls and fitting new pegs of customer’s choice
Cleaning and restoring the varnish on all types of string instruments
Repairing the necks of violins; violas, cellos and double bass
Replacing the bridges of all orchestral bowed instruments
Regulating and re-making of fingerboards, top and bottom saddles
Major repairs including plate removal for crack support, fitting bass bar and all internal adjustments
Cosmetic repairs including missing corners and re-touching
We treat all instruments with respect and enjoy working to achieve the best result with patience and the best materials. So if you have an instrument that you have inherited or been given why not talk to us about how we can take a once loved instrument and return it to its former glory.
If you are looking to get your instrument repaired, then please get in touch on 0774 856 4410 or alternatively you can use our contact form on the contact page.
Some Of Our Repairs:
bass bar fitted in old French violin circa 1800
Sat 29 Jun 2019
Fitting a bass bar is one of the most difficult tasks on a violin. The fit has to be perfect across all the curves. The glue has to be new and correctly heated. It also has to be fluid and not thick. The glue is not visible after fitting.
The shape of the bar depends on the shape of the violin. This old post revolution French violin is high arched so the shape of the bass bar complements this feature. Higher arched instruments are capable of taking more downward pressure than flatter models.
Fri 21 Sep 2018
A difficult double bass repair, broken at neck with not much gluing surface. This repair required hidden supports and wood graft.
cramped with old cramps
Happy owner re-united after bass stays in concert pitch for 10 days!
Herbie Flowers double bass
Mon 20 Aug 2018
This is the bass on which Herbie Flowers wrote the famous ‘walk on the wild side’ bass part. As a session musician at the time in 1972 Herbie was paid £17 for this timeless classic. He said that he overdubbed electric bass guitar to increase the fee to £34. Herbie is a great musician and wonderful person.
Here I am putting a stream of lights inside the double bass to do some internal repairs.
fitting a bass bar in old English violin
Tue 10 Jan 2017
Fitting a bass bar is one of the most difficult tasks in violin making. There must be no glue visible after fitting. Here we have the completed bar fitted in an English violin from around 1800. The structure is essentially a triangle with highest point under the bridge area but the finished curves are moving and elegant
Fri 9 Dec 2016
Always insure your violin. This was accidental damage but can be caused by ill fitting pegs. All fixed and playing nicely now.
bass bow re-hair
Thu 26 May 2016
Double bass bows are often re-haired with black hair which is more coarse than most white hair
Sun 23 Nov 2014
Greetings from the violin workshop. Today we are cleaning and restoring the varnish on a violin by Gavinies, Paris 1770.
Gavinies violin, made in Paris in 1770.
In the workshop today…
Thu 17 Jul 2014
In the Violin workshop today we have an English violin by Joseph Hill, here is it is next to a huge double bass bridge. We also have a lot a of horse hair ready to be put on bows. And a tiny weeny planer on a Gabrielli copy violin being made…
Click thumbnails for full-size images
Double Bass Repair
Wed 19 Mar 2014
Lots of double bass repairs—they are always falling over!
Here is a before and after job with the happy owner.